Podiatry and Netball definitely go hand in hand! Netball involves plenty of sudden stopping, changes of direction, jumping and agile movements and can quite easily result in injuries! Ankle, foot and knee injuries are common in court sports such as “rolling the ankle”, these injuries can cause serious damage to ligaments/ tendons and even cause fractures!
It is very important that the sports shoes are suitable for each person as all shoes are not created equally. Some shoes have inbuilt support and this support can be too much for some individuals and may actually increase the likelihood of an injury. On the flip side to this a person may require a different style of shoes that are more supportive to support the foot and ankle. Taping/ Strapping, footwear advice, orthotic therapy, stretches, exercises and support bracing may be necessary to keep the athlete performing at their peak, it may be best to book an appointment with an experienced Foot & Ankle Clinic podiatrist for the right advice and information.
Ankle sprain is a particularly common injury in Netball. But the repeated shock and pressures on the foot can also lead to inflammations, including Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, and sesamoiditis.
Common chronic injuries sustained in basketball also include stress fractures, plantar fasciitis, shin splints, achilles heel, tendinitis, patellar tendinitis and blisters. Similar injuries, especially ankle inversions and stress fractures, are also seen in another indoor court sports like netball and volleyball.
There are many different foot and leg injuries that are common to Netball. Here are 4 of the most common:
An ankle sprain occurs when the ground forces pushing against your foot and ankle in an outwards direction (a movement called supination of the foot) are higher than the muscle and ligament forces inside your body that resist this movement. Some people are more prone to repeated ankle sprains and if this is you, I would strongly recommend that you get a check-up to help reduce your likelihood of this happening again this season.
Probably the second most common traumatic injury with Netball is damage to knee, especially the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament). Trauma to the ACL most commonly occur when you are forced to stop suddenly and the strain on the ACL is too much for it to cope with.
There are also numerous over-use injuries that can occur in Netball. These sorts of injuries usually occur when your activity levels are rapidly increased (e.g. sudden increase in training at the start of the season), if you overload the same tissues repeatedly by performing the same activity over and over or if the way you move (your biomechanics) causes stress in a specific part of the feet or legs.
Patellofemoral Pain (PFP) is a classic overuse injury of the knee. PFP occurs when the pull of the muscles in the thigh drag your knee cap out of its normal alignment which increases stress on cartilage of the underside of the knee cap.
Another classic overuse injury is shin pain (or what many people call Shin Splints). Shin pain can be caused by too much stress in the muscles of the front of the leg, a bending stress on the shin bone (the tibia), a poor running technique, tightness in the calf muscles and by several other reasons. Getting a correct diagnosis for you shin pain will allow it to be treated effectively.